Against all odds, a Trans candidate puts up resolute fight

Bobby Kinnar, a transgender candidate, is looking to break the stereotype as she hopes to improve people’s plight in her ward

Bobby Kinnar

TEAMWORK: Bobby with key members of her campaigning team

Bobby Kinnar, the transgender candidate who emerged victorious from the Sultanpuri 43A ward, didn’t have a completely smooth ride in her quest for political representation. She faced jibes, was called a ‘dhol peetne wali’ and illiterate by supporters of a rival candidate.

But the 38-year-old seems to have garnered enough goodwill through her social service to make herself a strong candidate to get elected.

She remains unfazed by the taunts as well as the spotlight that is on her due to her being a transgender.

Also read: On campaign trail

“The Aam Aadmi Party took the initiative [to give ticket to a transgender candidate]. Are we not part of society? Our blood is also red like everyone else… I don’t wish to make comments but the Congress party workers have a sick mentality. I believe in the people of my area and I wish to work for them,” Bobby told Patriot in response to the taunts that emerged in the Congress campaign.

During a rally of Varuna Dhaka, the Congress candidate from the ward, a party worker had said some nasty things about the AAP candidate. Surprisingly, this happened in the presence of Varuna.

“We are holding this meeting in order to see the candidates parties have fielded (for the elections). The candidate that Congress has fielded is a well-qualified candidate with a political background and [is] not a dhol peetne wali candidate. The Aam Aadmi Party has fielded chor-uchakke (thieves). If you get trapped in these tactics, the future of your children will be ruined… The Aam Aadmi Party has given the ticket to a Kinnar (transgender person) who is illiterate and does not know anything,” said the Congress worker.

Bobby hit back at being called a thief.

“Nobody can be a thief just because some people say so. Those who know me in the area know well that I am not a thief,” she added.

Popular in the area, many residents call her Bobby Bhai affectionately.

She has left a mark through her social work in the ward and contested the MCD elections as an independent candidate in 2017. For the upcoming elections, she was declared as the candidate when she was found on top of the party’s survey of strong candidates.

Bobby has been associated with AAP since the Anna Hazare movement days and is currently president of the Delhi unit of Hindu Yuva Samaj Ekta Awam Anti-Terrorism Committee.

“People think AAP has given the ticket to Bobby ji without any reason. There was a proper survey that decided whether she is fit for the candidature or not,” said Ramesh Kumar, an AAP party worker.

According to the party workers, Bobby served as the head of the transgender community in the area. She took to politics when she realised that she wishes to work not just for her community, but the society at large.

“She has done a lot of social work. Members of the [transgender] community in the area, give a substantial amount of their earnings to charity. [Through that] she contributes to the marriages of many women, builds small shops for those who cannot afford and also gives money to the poor for monthly ration,” explained Noor Hasan, a resident of the area and an AAP party worker.

“I am looking after the [transgender] community. It is just one of the many things. I wish to do good for [all] the people in the society. If I am elected as councillor, I wish to end corruption. The reason I want to come into politics is because I want to help the society at large,” added Bobby.

“The people in the transgender community are happy with the news of my candidature. They are very proud of me because I am representing the community in politics on AAP’s ticket. There might be differences in our thinking within the community but we cannot really change that,” she said about the difference in opinion within the community of transgenders.

Residents and party workers in the area said that because Bobby does not have a family of her own, she will tend to work more for the society. Her background as a social worker also makes her an ideal councillor for the ward.

“There is no hidden agenda in her candidature because she does not have a family of her own. If she had a family, one could argue that she would exploit her power to benefit her family members or those who are related to her. But because she does not have any children, we can say that she will work for the society, which she has been doing for the last 20 years,” explained a party worker.

Apart from the campaigning programmes held around the city by the Aam Aadmi Party, the women party workers in the area have formed groups of five to create awareness about Bobby’s candidature. The transgender community, the residents of the area added, are also participating in the campaigning.

A man in his early 30s observed that the parties are not campaigning enough in the area.

“We cannot really know which party the residents are favouring because the campaigning was not of the level one had expected. However, it is evident that people want change since the former councillor did not do anything in the area,” he said.

Asked about the attitude of people towards a transgender candidate, he said, “People don’t mind it and only care about who [can] bring a positive change to the area.”

AAP party workers said that they will hold a padayatra before the election while continuing the door-to-door campaigning.

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Shehwaaz covers community, sexuality, gender, and other social issues for Patriot.